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    Elusive Mint State 1797 16 Stars Half Dime

    1797 H10C 16 Stars MS62 NGC. V-4, LM-2, R.4. The variety is confirmed by the outer berry on the left wreath being located between the N and I of UNITED. It is worthwhile to briefly discuss the variation in the number of stars that characterizes the 1797 half dime issue. Breen, in his Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins, states that "Despite generations of contrary cataloging, the order of types in 1797 is chronologically 15 stars, then 16, finally 13. This is only logical: the 15 star dies were left over from fall 1795, with final digit omitted, as was then common practice. The 16 star die, like its counterparts in all other silver and gold denominations, was made in 1796 alluding to Tennessee's admission to the Union as the 16th state (June 1). And the permanent shift to 13 stars followed Mint Director Elias Boudinot's realizing that the Mint could not go on indefinitely adding new stars as new states entered the Union." The 16 star specimen offered here is a melange of medium golden-gray patina with lavender, crimson and aqua-blue accents. A few light toning streaks are apparent on the lower right reverse. The design elements are well struck (except for weakness on the eagle's torso, legs, neck and head) and nicely centered on the planchet, with virtually all of the dentilation showing. Heavy die clashing is noted in the right obverse field. As most Draped Bust Small Eagle half dime survivors are in low grades, this is an excellent opportunity to acquire a handsome Mint State example.(#4259) (Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 22ZZ, PCGS# 4259)

    Weight: 1.35 grams

    Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2004
    4th-6th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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    Numismatic Background and Census of 1802 Half Dimes: A Classic American Rarity
    This 64-page book cites mintage and rarity estimates by prominent numismatists and documents the currently known 1802 half dime appearances. Each of the 32 documented examples includes an enlarged obverse/reverse photograph, the author's assigned grade, the provenance of each coin, auction prices realized or dealer fixed asking price, and a unique serial number for each specimen that will facilitate retrieval for research, cataloging, or price-information purposes. Reserve your copy of this remarkable volume for just $29.95 today.
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